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Re: Big Dinosaur Prints Found

At 12:31 PM -0500 3/20/01, T. Mike Keesey wrote:
On Tue, 20 Mar 2001, Rob Gay wrote:

 And, look at a human population. There are a number of people in any
 town with limps, or other things that would cause an abnormal

Ah, but we're humans. We can take care of our injured, diseased, and deformed. For the vast majority of animals, injury, disease, and/or deformity leads to death far more readily.

Among humans, an individual who can't even move his own body can rise to
fame and success. Among other animals, an individual who can't move is
dead within a week.

Succinctly put.

Dead in a week, or less. An easy meal is not overlooked by the hungry hordes. There were plenty of things with teeth looking for dinner in the Mesozoic.

Hopefully, the executioner will leave evidence in the form of a track-way that suggests the methodology of successful predation and whom was for dinner. (in the form of a coprolite or spewite).

Trace fossils, in the most basic of definitions, are defined as the indirect evidence of life as left by trails, tracks and burrows. We can take that farther to include other non-skeletal evidence left by any organism that directly supports the conclusion that it (the organism) was actually in that particular place at the time the creation of the track, trail, trace, spewite, coprolite, bite mark, or whatever indicator of behavior that you may find occurred.

Trace fossils are the only fossil, with the exception of an immutably autochthonous benthonic organism, that you can look at and know with certainty that the organism that left it was actually present on the bedding plane or bounding surface that you are now observing.

You cannot purport to identify beyond the shadow of a doubt the trace maker, unless you have the tracemaker dead in its tracks. Literally dead in its tracks. Other than that, you truly have at best, a mountain of overwhelming circumstantial evidence that points collectively and with strong argument, at potentially the best possible suspect.

Marilyn W.

Marilyn W.
                        =00=  =00=  =00=  =00=
                        Marilyn D. Wegweiser, Ph.D.
                Adjunct Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology
                     Cincinnati Natural History Museum

Assistant Professor of Geology
Department of Geology                   mdwegweiser@bsu.edu
Ball State University                   Office: 765-285-8268;765-285-8270
Muncie, Indiana 47306                   FAX:    765-285-8265